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Gardiner River Fishing

Highlights

  • Some of the world’s most breathtaking meadows
  • Many creeks and tributaries loaded with hungry Brook Trout
  • Chances at catching large migrating Brown Trout (this is our focus)
  • High levels of seclusion and remote fishing opportunities
  • Secluded high mountain lake stacked with trout
  • Fish right from our camp


Description

Many experienced outdoorsmen dream of wetting a line in search of migrating Brown Trout and snappy Brook Trout, with bugling elk sounding in the distance. Or if they don't they should be. The Gardiner River in Yellowstone National Park is the place to make this dream become reality. The Gardiner River really comes to life in the fall season, which is when we focus this trip. The colors of fall are painted across the landscape, elk and bison are gathering their herds, and the crisp mountain air begins to change. "Magical" is often the word used to describe the Gardiner River Valley and in the fall it's a vast understatement. Whether guests focus on catching dozens of Brook Trout, a hand full of giant Brown Trout or simply watch nature take its course as the elk visit the meadows near our base camp, this is what dreams are made of. We only offer two trips to this destination per year. This is our way of keeping this remarkable area special for the few folks that get to visit the backcountry in the Gardiner Valley.
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  • This trip is offered as a custom offering for private groups. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to get started!



 
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to Trailhead: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 514 feet
We will begin our journey together in Jackson, Wyoming. Once we get to Bunsen Peak trail head we will have a quick lunch, overview of our next 4 days, safety orientation and llama introduction. The llamas will be packing all our gear and food for our trip together. Once on the trail we will hike 5.2 miles to our remote private campsite reserved just for our group. We will get a chance to fish for a few hours before the sun sets and dinner is ready.
Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 100 feet
Choices, choices, choices... Depending on the weather and your interest we will hike to Fawn Lake just above camp, or downstream to find migrating Brown Trout. The open meadows in this area offer great bank fishing and feature many holes and undercut banks where the big Browns like to rest and feed. Today we will hone our skills as we try to lure the big Browns from their hiding spots.

After a full day of fishing, hiking and exploring, we will make our way back to camp. You will have an opportunity to fish the low light evening hours as your guide prepares a backcountry feast and gets a campfire going. This late day fishing is often the best, and when the day's adventures are finally over, camp will be a welcome place!
Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 2-6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 250 feet
Today we will enjoy a hearty breakfast and hot coffee or tea before getting our day started. More than likely we will head upstream today along the Gardiner River for a day full of fishing. You can expect to wake up to the smell of a hot pot of coffee, smoldering fire, sunrise and possibly the sound of elk bugling in the background. If the fishing was great yesterday we might at some point return to the same lower portion of the river, but first we'll try our hand at the bigger water up river. Either way its all about getting our lines in the water, enjoying where we are, and finding the trout.

Again you'll have the opportunity to fish the late day hours while your guide prepares dinner. We will cap today off with a final celebratory backcountry feast, most likely a tasty trout dish made from the spoils of our "work."
Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 514 feet
  • Shuttle to Jackson: 4 hours
Wake up and get to the water for some early morning fishing, because today we will pack up and hike out of the backcountry. You will have a few hours to fish as breakfast is prepared and camp is packed onto the llamas. We will then journey back to our starting point. After we eat lunch at the trailhead we will make our final journey back to Jackson.



Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Pack llamas
  • Wilderness guide/llama handler
  • Yellowstone fishing guide (max guest:guide ration of 4:1)
  • One-on-one fishing instruction
  • 9 ft, 6wt rod and reel with floating line
  • All flies and all incidental materials (tippet, leaders, floatant, etc.)
  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, ultralight cot and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • Entrance fee to Yellowstone National Park (each guest must pay for their own fishing license)
  • Small library of fishing books & journals
  • Lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Llamas or Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Optional second Rod and Reel
  • Waders (no felt bottom waders or boots allowed in Yellowstone National Park)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Yellowstone Fishing license
  • Alcohol
  • Personal gear such as river sandals, polarized sun glasses...etc.
  • Guide gratuity
See the Packing List page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs or Mountain Hardware tents
  • Sierra Designs sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki trekking poles
  • Mountain Safety Research cooking stoves
  • Mountain Safety Research cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter waterbottles per person, either a headlamp or flashlight per person, and a lightweight waterproof stuff sac for your clothes and belongings. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at a predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before your trip to coordinate the rendezvous and answer any last minute questions you have.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional Wyoming hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, training in llama-handling, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Gratuities

  • The industry standard for fishing guides is $100-$150/guide per fishing day.
  • Each river, stream or lake has good days, bad days and many in-between. Your guide will do everything in their power to put you in the right location at the right time but there are many factors out of their control. Your guide will work harder on the days where fishing is poor than when fishing is excellent; please keep this in mind when it comes to tipping your guides.
  • Your llama wrangler and wilderness guide will be working behind the scenes very diligently to take care of you and your group. Please keep in mind that they also merit a tip for their services.


Group Size

Every llama-supported fishing trip has a professional Yellowstone fishing guide (our guides are the best!), as well as a dedicated llama handler/wilderness guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.


Weather Around Yellowstone

Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
     
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
High
Low
 
June
70°
42°
 
July
80°
47°
 
August
78°
45°
 
September
68°
37°